Early Libertarian and Conservative Critiques of the War on Terrorism

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Here’s the last section of the unfinished manuscript “Libertarian and Conservative Critics of Foreign Interventionism.” To make it complete as perhaps a concise monograph on the subject, I’d need to add a summary of the past ten years, taking into account the Ron Paul movement, Edward Snowden, the failure of the Iraq and Afghan wars and more. Until then, here’s part 3 which was written in early 2002, and so was written pretty much at the nadir of the modern debate over war and civil liberties. The footnotes and some of the more obscure information that’s preserved here may be of interest to some.

It’s also a nice reminder that the conservatives, with the exception of the tiny anti-interventionist faction that existed in 2002, are largely responsible for the near total-evisceration of the Fourth Amendment, and the rise of the surveillance state.

The pre-2001 world now seems like the distant past. Amazingly, there was once a time when only the most crazed militarist would suggest that torture was an acceptable activity of the United States government. I quote Thomas Fleming here predicting in 2001 that conservatives would one day support torturing suspects. I wonder if Fleming thought he was exaggerating, because this certainly proved to be true: “With the exception of Ron Paul, the libertarian naysayer, most Republicans seem prepared to back their president all the way to thumbscrews and the Iron Maiden. I expect to hear, before too long, conservatives explaining why Bills of Attainder and Star Chamber courts have been insufficiently appreciated by squishy liberals who are soft on crime.”

Antiwar Libertarians and Conservatives and The War on Terrorism [From “Libertarian and Conservative Critics…

4:03 pm on January 10, 2014